BNSF plans to invest an estimated $220 million to improve and expand rail capacity in North Dakota and $115 million on maintenance and rail capacity expansion projects in Montana this year.
BNSF’s 2013 capacity enhancement projects in North Dakota include constructing three new sidings west of Minot near Manitou, Tioga and Palermo; extending the sidings near Glen Ullin and Hillsboro; improvements to six sidings between Minot and Grand Forks; raising 10 miles of track over Devils Lake by one to five feet to keep the track above rising water; upgrading the line between Berthold and Northgate on the Canadian border; installing Centralized Traffic Control signal systems on three sidings near Devils Lake, Hillsboro and Towner; constructing a new double crossover track east of Williston and lengthening existing tracks or adding new tracks at BNSF rail yards in Mandan, Minot and Williston.
BNSF will also continue its track maintenance program in North Dakota, which will include nearly 1,900 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of about 315 miles of rail and 415,000 crossties, as well as significant signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control (PTC).
“BNSF’s capital investments in North Dakota will help ensure our network is prepared for growing demand for freight rail,” said Matthew Rose, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are focused on investing to meet our customers’ expectations and on expanding capacity where growth is occurring. Given the importance of a low cost supply chain to the U.S. economy, our privately-funded rail infrastructure is well positioned to help all North Dakota industries compete in global markets.”
BNSF will expand capacity in Montana by constructing three new unit train staging tracks about three miles east of Glasgow and will enhance safety by adding machine vision technology at Miles City to help detect damaged equipment.
BNSF will also continue its track maintenance program in Montana, which will include more than 2,300 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of nearly 100 miles of rail and about 310,000 crossties, as well as significant signal upgrades for PTC.